Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:economics“

Not too late to make a holiday ask

by Jason Z.

By this point, it's becoming more general knowledge that the last week of the year is a real sweet spot for holiday fundraising.  But just to underscore the point -- be sure to get out at least one fundraising appeal today or tomorrow, terrible economy be damned.  In fact, it's not only not too late to make a holiday ask, these next two days are probably the absolute best time all year to make that ask.  Given the bleak fundraising scene that likely awaits come January and February and beyond, it'd be crazy not to put out that pitch e-mail in some form in the next 24 hours or so.  Heck, how about one today and two tomorrow?  Come February, are you more likely to wish that you'd asked more often or less often back when the getting was good?

Actually, for anyone with an online component in the job description, this holiday season could be the leading edge of an important structural shift in nonprofit fundraising.

While all charitable giving of every description figures to suffer in the years ahead, some scattered data points from retail suggest that online purchases more or less held their own during this past (and otherwise disastrous) holiday season.  Some of that undoubtedly reflects purchases that would otherwise have been made at brick-and-mortar locations being shifted online, and while not all the parameters of nonprofit development are the same, it's a trend one could easily imagine spilling over.  As with selling sneakers, nonprofit giving opportunities online cut out many expenses (notably mailing) and present a lower threshold for gift completion.

If a pullback in the overall revenue picture of many organizations is in the works, it's a pretty good time to remind H.R. managers how valuable the online piece is to the organization.

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Madoff Ponzi Scheme Claims JEHT Foundation

by Jason Z.

There's been ample general chatter about the shakeout our economic contraction will have on the nonprofit sector -- and, I would venture to say, a bit of whistling past the graveyard.

The zombies woke up with the Madoff scandal ... and this week we found out that they'll devastate progressive advocacy groups.

The JEHT Foundation, a national philanthropic organization, has stopped all grant making effective immediately and will close its doors at the end of January 2009. The funds of the donors to the Foundation, Jeanne Levy-Church and Kenneth Levy-Church, were managed by Bernard L. Madoff, a prominent financial advisor who was arrested last week for defrauding investors out of billions of dollars.

The JEHT Foundation (full disclosure:  it backed my own my own former shop) is -- was, rather -- one of the most important funders of criminal justice reform, civil liberties, and human rights work in the U.S.  As Grits for Breakfast points out, JEHT has been notable for a willingness to fund in more controversial causes that often have difficulty attracting foundation support.  It's a huge loss to the progressive advocacy sector, and the disappearance of its six-figure grants will in turn kill off programs and even entire organizations.

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Growing Needs, Shrinking Budget? Hit the Warp Drive to Salsa Enterprise.

by Jason Z.

In an economic climate uglier than any for the past quarter-century -- at least -- nonprofits of every size are facing potential shortfalls in the lean years ahead.

If you're in that boat, maybe you're looking at a CRM-sized hole in the budget and wondering:

Can we possibly afford to put our CRM fee to a more critical use?

Can we possibly afford not to keep the efficiency and impact our online data services give us?

Tough choice.  Luckily, you don't have to make it.

Say hello to Salsa Enterprise -- everything that large, complex nonprofits need, at a price that doesn't break the bank.

Join a Salsa Enterprise webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 25 to find out how to save tens of thousands and get the robust CRM toolset -- mass e-mailing, online donations, advocacy, and an integrated view of supporters -- plus free data migration from Convio, Kintera, GetActive, Blackbaud, Capitol Advantage or any other system; personalized training; strategy support; and a dedicated account manager.

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Public transportation, America. Look into it.

by Jason Z.
Tags: economics  |  metro  |  oil  |  public transportation  |  washington dc

Last Friday, the Washington, D.C. metro system broke its all-time ridership record. Odds are that by the time you're reading this, Friday's record will have fallen a few times over again.

As DCist points out, there wasn't much special about Friday, July 11 -- just a nondescript summer day that "smashed" (well, okay, barely topped) the Reagan funeral record.

But this wasn't just some random blip.

Apart from Mondays, which seem to be systematically lower-ridership days (just like with online fundraising), Metro's top 25 weekday ridership days basically reads like the last few pages of my day planner. Every non-holiday Tuesday-through-Friday date for the past four weeks is among the very busiest days of Metro's history.

Date All-time Ridership Rank
Friday, July 11 1
Thursday, July 10 4
Wednesday, July 9 22
Tuesday, July 8 5
(weekend)
(Fourth of July fell on a Friday, the busiest July 4 in Metro's history)
Thursday, July 3 25
Wednesday, July 2 6
Tuesday, July 1 16
(weekend)
Friday, June 27 13
Thursday, June 26 18
Wednesday, June 25 3
Tuesday, June 24 8
(weekend)
Friday, June 20 9
Thursday, June 19 17
Wednesday, June 18 14
Tuesday, June 17 21

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Notes from the Margin (Calls) of a Cataclysm

On April 5, 2004, e-CRM toolmaker Kintera peaked at $17.73 a share. On that date, Bear Stearns' high was $87.53 -- a little less than five times Kintera's value per share. At any point in the intervening four years, Kintera shareholders would have been overjoyed to trade at one-fifth Bear Stearns. Today, they got there. Current valuations: Kintera $0.66 Bear Stearns: $3.82 ??? Profit!

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Attention Must Be Paid

"Lomans not Shamans," says stavrosthewonderchicken, taking stock.
"Conversation as intercourse. Intercourse as commerce. You know somebody's getting fucked. I think it might be us. Ad copy tattoed on our lover's forehead, and we're so inured to it that we don't even notice anymore. We're trying to make love in the middle of the marketplace, but we're just getting screwed."
(Via Wealth Bondage.) Crazed rantings there. Best to put that one on the watch list before his next trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport Travelodge.

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Yochai Benkler, Holding Forth

Kicking it at the redoubtable Freedom To Connect conclave today, and came back with a bit of darkly indistinct video of the feature presentation by Yochai Benkler. ... and ...

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